According to Barry Schwartz, a professor at the University of California (Berkeley), and author of the book The Paradox of Choice , social comparison often creates envy and envy quickly makes people miserable.
Human beings have a character flaw that is hardwired into us thanks to evolution. They tend to look at others and compare themselves to those others. If the other person has a bigger house, nicer car, more money, etc. this creates envy.
Envy is a negative emotion that causes unhappiness.
Since comparing ourselves to others is a hardwired, human character flaw, the key then is to shift your comparison from those who have more to to those who are less fortunate. This eliminates the negative emotion of envy from rearing its ugly head and instead produces the positive emotion of gratitude.
Gratitude creates positive feelings about our lives and is the gateway to a positive mental outlook.
So, the next time you find yourself staring at a huge home or expensive car, instead turn away and replace your visual with a home smaller than yours or a jalopy of a car. You’ll notice almost immediately the feeling of gratitude replace the feeling of envy.